NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 2, 2012.

Kris Letang sidelined indefinitely…Nicklas Lidstrom out with foot injury…Michal Neuvirth making the most of latest opportunity….Corey Crawford’s up-and-down year…Mathieu Garon gives Lightning solid goaltending….A costly, landmark win for Flyers…Coyotes unbeaten streak snapped…David Krejci carries Bruins to OT win…Ryan Miller gets second straight shutout…Rangers down Hurricanes 3-2…Blue Jackets shut out Avalanche…Gary Bettman talks expansion and Quebec City.

POST-GAZETTE.COM: Penguins defenseman Kris Letang is sidelined indefinitely with likely concussion suffered after he was hit by Dallas Stars defenseman Eric Nystrom during Wednesday’s Penguins-Stars game.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s Letang’s second concussion this season, and is not only a blow to the Penguins, but a serious threat to his health.

MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom will miss at least two games with a bad bone bruise to one of his ankles.

Neuvirth seizing opportunity to shine.

WASHINGTON POST: Capitals backup goaltender Michal Neuvirth is making the most of his opportunity this season, taking over for a struggling Tomas Vokoun.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Inconsistent goaltending has been a problem this season for the Capitals. If Neuvirth provides more stability, that could give the Capitals more confidence down the stretch.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford is puzzled by his struggles this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: After a strong rookie season, it appears Crawford is struggling to adjust to heightened expectations and his own confidence.

TBO.COM: Mathieu Garon has been providing the now-surging Lightning with solid goaltending, which they’ve lacked most of this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: They’ll need him to stay hot the rest of the way if they hope to play their way into a playoff berth.

PHILLY.COM: Jaromir Jagr moved into eighth overall among NHL’s all-time points leaders (1, 641), and Kimmo Timonen netted his 500th carer point, as the Flyers downed the NY Islanders 6-3.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It was a costly win, as oft-injured forward James van Riemsdyk suffered a broken bone in one of his feet.

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: The Phoenix Coyotes 12-game unbeaten streak came to an end, falling 4-2 to the Calgary Flames.

BOSTON GLOBE: David Krejci scored a hat trick as the Bruins downed the New Jersey Devils in overtime 4-3.

BUFFALO NEWS: Ryan Miller made 39 saves on route to his second straight second, as the Sabres downed the San Jose Sharks 1-0..

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Marian Gaborik scored his 30th goal of the season and Martin Biron made 21 saves as the Rangers edged the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2.

COLUMBUS DISPATCH:Much-maligned goalie Steve Mason made 33 saves as the Blue Jackets defeated the Colorado Avalanche 2-0.

SLAM! SPORTS: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said relocation of struggling franchises like the Phoenix Coyotes is a method of last resort. He also said the league isn’t planning on expansion at this time.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, to a city like Quebec City hungry for an NHL franchise: “Don’t call us, we’ll call you”.


  1. How can you not love Jagr?

  2. Phoenix is making some splash and for their sake I hope they can make some splash in the post-season. I think they are going to play hard to look for a division win, but when you play 12 games undefeated and only hold a two point lead over San Jose who is 3-6-1 in their past 10 … it just shows how up and down their season has been.

    As for Chicago I think Crawford is suffering the Steven Mason fate. I love Emery, but he is trying to re-establish himself and probably isn’t acting as the best mentor right now. In the off season Emery should play for a team that could give him a shot at starting and Chicago should bring in a calming veteran presence to keep Crawford calm and moving forward. No offense … but hi Marty Turco! He may have not played well for the Hawks last year, but he sure helped Crawford last year and likely still would be this year.

  3. Phoenix is so well coached they are a tough matchup in a 7 game series for any team. If Toews continues to be out (and misses any playoff time) then they will struggle.

    Nashville better hope that St. Louis doesn’t jump ahed of Detroit, because all of their mid season acquistions may mean nothing if they have to play the Redwings who will have Home-ice advantage in that series.

    I’m officially saying it: the Ducks are dead. (yes, i shed a tear)

    Tomorrow night is the kind of game that can turn around the remainder of the season for the Leafs. Winnipeg is out as their remaining schedule is balanced more on away games here they have been terrible. Washington hasn’t shown me anything, but it only takes one moment for Ovi to kill you.

  4. Not looking good for the Ducks. I’m cheering ’em on, but its real close now.
    Anyway, I wouldn’t be so sure that Detroit can beat Nashville. Nash and Stl are two teams that no one should want to play.

  5. Nsh and Stl are very tough teams to play, but Detroit has been so good at home!
    I think in a 7 game series they will win 1/3 on the road, but i don’t think they lose 2/4 on home ice….
    Tough to say, but it’s just my thought.